Baird: Canada 'cannot sit by while Russia illegally occupies Ukraine'
Christina Commisso, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, April 12, 2014 4:50PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, April 12, 2014 7:53PM EDT
The Canadian government has imposed more travel bans and sanctions in response to growing pro-Russia uprisings in eastern Ukraine.
On Saturday, Ottawa announced travel bans on the chair of the Sevastopol Electoral Commission, Valery Medvedev, and chair of the Crimean Electoral Commission Mikhail Malyshev.
Canada is also imposing economic sanctions on Crimean oil and gas company Chornomornaftogaz.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said that Canada "cannot sit by while Russia illegally occupies Ukraine."
"Russia's continued provocative actions in Crimea and elsewhere are completely unacceptable," Baird said in a statement released Saturday. "Canada and its allies are prepared to take additional steps that will further isolate Russia economically and politically."
Several senior Russian bureaucrats have already been banned from travel to Canada, including the intelligence chief of the Russian general staff and several of President Vladimir Putin's aides and advisers.
The sanctions also forbid Canadian citizens and companies from doing business with Bank Rossiya, which the Prime Minister's Office has said is the personal bank for senior Russian officials.
In response, Russia slapped similar travel bans on 13 Canadian lawmakers and officials, which included a number of MPs along with the national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.